Is age catching up with me?

I am feeling a bit fatigued, at least physically. Part of the reason is that I am doing quite a bit of non-workout related walking in addition to my usual workouts, and the campus is hilly. But in the days of old, I never worried about that. But within the past 10 years or so, I noticed that routine hill and stair climbing was more difficult on the days I ran.

Today: weights at the WKU gym (a nice one) and then 4 miles of running: 1 on the treadmill (11:10) then 3 on the upstairs track (6.9 laps to the mile, and I did 21 laps in 31:26 (10:50, 10:44, 9:50..chased a young woman). I have to remember that this was sort of 5K-ish and within 2-2:30 of what I race these in these-a-days.

weights: weak..perhaps I rushed? 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), bench: disaster. 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 5 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 5 x 165. Military: ok, 3 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbells (standing), 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer rows (usual), headstand and plank (2:30..easier?)

Note: my back can “feel” my not doing my back exercises.

Talks: good, as usual:

Slipknots in random walks (appears in proteins).

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The last one combined some serious global analysis, PDE and knot theory to deal with “almost real world” knotted cylinders.


July 20, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment


Lifted weights yesterday (usual..highlights were 2 sets of 5-5-5-5 and 1 set of 10 pull ups, 4 x 185 bench, 8 x 170 bench, 7 x 170 decline) and got on the road to Western Kentucky University.

Crescent moon.

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That saved me from listening to Trump with Putin in Finland…and this is extraordinary:

US President Donald Trump, in a stunning rebuke of the US intelligence community, declined on Monday to endorse the US government’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be responsible.

Instead, Trump — standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin — touted Putin’s vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee’s server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal account.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said during a joint news conference after he spent about two hours in a room alone with Putin, save for a pair of interpreters.
Trump’s statements amounted to an unprecedented refusal by a US president to believe his own intelligence agencies over the word of a foreign adversary and drew swift condemnation from across the partisan divide.
His words signaled that he continues to equate the assessment of Russian election meddling with efforts to deligitimize his election, even though the US intelligence community made no such assessment.

And earlier:

I suppose that this “blame America First” is fine with the Republicans so long as they get their deregulation, tax cuts and SCOTUS picks.

Oh, and there is this outlandish claim that is being put forward to distract the rubes.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, social/political, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment

Wills and ways …

Today: I was planning on 18 miles but thunderstorms struck. So I walked 5 miles on the treadmill in 1:04:30 (quick, for me), then changed shirts, got a drink and did 13 outside after the thunderstorms had passed. 73 F with 93 percent at the start, 78/81 at the finish. My course: the 10.6 mile course with a detour around the goose loop and an extra 2.1 mile spur along Perry to Springdale (turn around at the road at the foot of the hill leading up the mausoleum. That 13 took me 3:32 by “time of day” (running clock for road crossings, bathroom stops, etc.) and it was slippery in spots. So I walked faster than that.

The good news is that I felt fine the whole way. Bad news: still slower than I’d like.

Yesterday: weights only: usual PT, pull ups (sluggish, got 5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 6 x 175, incline: 10 x 140, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 90 (machine) rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Abs: 2:30 plank..wanted to be done quickly.

Baseball: got to see the Chiefs win 5-1. Chiefs starting pitcher was just called up from “short season) and threw 7 2/3 innings; in that inning he allowed 2 hits. No walks, no hit batters, 1 run. Chiefs got 2 big home runs, 1 run off of an infield hit, steal, slight wild pitch and wild pitch, plus 2 insurance runs in the bottom of the 8’th.

New pitcher for the Chiefs vs. Lake Captains. Promoted from Johnson City.

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Contest. Reward? Food and the 2 seats next to me. Is that a GOOD thing? 😂🤣

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July 14, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Some hope for the US?

I follow a couple of pro-Trump groups on Facebook. One showed this video and..much to my surprise, some Trump supporters thought that this group SHOULD have been kicked out due to their behavior! (their continuing to taunt that other woman…personally, I thought “ugh..cigarette smoke” but..)

I think that, sometimes, cooler heads speak up “in private” when there isn’t a fear of being seen as “weak” by the other side. Oh, you’ll get some push back. I got a bit of it for being critical of Maxine Waters urging people to (peacefully) confront Trump officials in public places.

Ok, some of these make me chuckle but it isn’t something that I’d do.

Workout notes: this time I did 6 miles of walking prior to lifting including 10 x 3-3:20 worth of from intervals on the W. Peoria track. Total time: 54:17 (27:26/26:51); this is about 4.2-4.3 miles or just under a 13 minute pace.
The weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 70 dumbbells, incline: 10 x 140, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 different machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows. headstand. Did some 30 second planks: front, front, side, front, side, then 2 minutes front. It was enough for today; the walk took a bit off of my weights.

July 11, 2018 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Turning the corner?

Well, I do have some writing and search committee stuff to do…

But today I weighed in at 195.6 before lifting. Right direction! But that may have been skewed a bit by the weekend.

Workout notes; usual weight workout; pt, pull ups: 15, 15, 5-5, 10, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, decline 7 x 170, military 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs, plank: 2:30 not that bad, headstand was easy, then 2 mile warm weather walk.

Last night: actually saw the Cornbelters win 5-3. The first inning wasn’t promising as the Boomers hit 2 home runs (one off of the outfielder’s glove) in the first inning to lead 3-0. But in the 3’rd the Cornbelters hit a 3 run shot of their own plus another.

I'll save you a seat.

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And yes, the Corn Crib has corn growing in the outfield berm.

How many stadiums have acutal corn gowing in them? Only in Illinois. 😂🤣

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Got to love it.

July 9, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Peoria is one city people are fleeing from

Peoria is no. 18 on this list. Rockford is no. 11 and Chicago (area) is no. 1.

Why? People will talk about high taxes. But, at least in my area, while property taxes might be high in terms of rate, property VALUES are low so what comes out of your pocket is less than what it is in other cities.

We do have an income tax but are regarded as a middle income tax state, but “high tax” when one considers both income and sales tax.

BUT…in terms of services…well, our State Police are always at the ready to give you a speeding ticket…is that a service? 🙂

And our highways are dreadful. Oh, they’ll say we are right in the middle but don’t believe them.

High overall taxes, and mediocre state services and complete state government dysfunction. But I’d say mostly it is the decline of economic opportunities which leads to less money to invest in the public good, worse schools, etc. and all that leads to a talent drain.

The weather doesn’t help; over the past few years we’ve had the dreaded “polar vortex” giving us a traditional winter, and climate change leading to Texas caliber summers. I can’t complain today though..last night a rainstorm dumped 2.25 inches in 2 hours…and knocked down the temperature about 10 degrees F.

It isn’t all bad though: I can afford a house where I can walk to work, I have two gyms and a park just a walk or medium run away, and close by sports action (minor and college baseball, college basketball); football requires just a bit of a drive (45 to 2:30 of driving, depending on whether I want I-AA, Big Ten or NFL).

Workout notes yesterday, warm 5 mile walk, followed by some very warm yard work.

Today: weights; usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, decline 8 x 170, incline 10 x 170, military: dumbbell 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine 10 x 180, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Usual abs, plank.

Bodyweight 199.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

closing in

It is kind of weird how much trouble the above object is causing me. 🙂

But I am working on it..but right now I am wasting time blogging.

We have a midterm in 2018 and there has been talk about trying to get those who don’t vote to show up and vote. The idea I’ve heard is if only the Democrats make their national platform appealing enough, people will show up to vote for them.

Let’s just say that I am a bit skeptical… (from 2012)

Workout notes: I am feeling better; post weightroom weight was 197.

Usual PT, pull ups (15-15-10-10, good) bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 6 x 150, decline: 8 x 170, military (better) 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows, plank went a bit better (2:30) usual abs, pleasant 2 mile walk.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | mathematics, political humor, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

TRUMP IN SPACE!!! (and the Sesame Streeting of Science Education)

No, this is NOT parody. This is from the genuine Trump Facebook Page.

Well, this is good news for science education in the United States, right? After all, you can’t do things in space without knowing a great deal about physics, astronomy, chemistry and mathematics, right? Right?

Dear Reader, YOU know that. I know that. But as for the average person, especially the average Trump voter..probably not so much.

As an educator, I see this all the time: some kid gets to college and says something about liking space and physics…but not liking science and math?

You see, we spend so much time trying to make science “appealing” to the masses, people think that science is just a bunch of cool tricks.

They see this (and yes, this IS cool)

And maybe they go on to read a pop-science book or two…and find themselves saying phrases like “collapse the wave functions”. So they try to major in physics and find that…in order to actually DO physics…it involves mastering THIS:

I remember one exchange I saw on Facebook. A national class physics professor (nuclear) made it a habit to not block anyone. So someone whose expertise consisted of a basic non-mathematical “electronics class” proceeded to “splain” to him how physics professors didn’t know “real world” electronics.

You see: we teach electricians the “electron flow” model of electrical current; they are told to think of electrical current as a “flow” of little electrons (like small marbles) and when you do that, you can get to the point where you can build (and repair) electrical devices. But it is just a heuristic that “works”; current defined in this manner is opposite of current as scientists and engineers use it. And of course electrical current is more complicated than that (I view it as the time derivative of electrical charge).

The professor tried patiently to explain to our “genius electrician” that he was really using a simplified model…but our self described expert just would hear none of it. He just knew that he was right and that those who were smart enough to work out the basic science to make the electrical components POSSIBLE were a bunch of ivory tower idiots.

Workout notes
Yesterday: 3 mile treadmill run (10 minutes of 5.2-5.6, 10 of 6.7-6.9 (19:48 at 2) 4 min walk, jog to 32:45 3, 33:41 5K. then 5K walk outside.
Today: 5K walk outside; weights (usual PT), 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), weights (subpar): 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 bench, 7 x 170 decline, military (struggle) 9 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows, 2:30 plank, usual abs.

I was weaker than normal today, except for pull ups.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | education, running, science, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

And this was just one day…

Interesting primary result in NY-14: a Bernie type unseated an establishment (but liberal) Democrat in the primary. NY-14 is heavily blue, so she should win the general. There isn’t much danger of a Christine O’Donnell effect here, I think.

Of course, the Republican reaction to this was sane..

Yes, the rank and file Trump supporter really believe this. Oh well…

And the RNC has released a new attack ad:

Yes, Bernie Sanders is quoted (about public programs like health care), Nancy Pelosi (about child separation policy) (uprisings and, of course, Maxine Waters. But as for the rest: entertainers. The burned limousine: owned by a Muslim immigrant and was torched by idiotic protesters at the Trump inauguration.

We could easily find a video of Trump alone making genuinely outrageous statements. But this shows how they will run….it will be against the horrible liberals.

This lack of civility might well work for them; it is a bit trickier for us. Here is what some research shows.

Facts: might matter to a few swing voters but it won’t win us any converts. Yes, research appears to show that regions with illegal immigrants have less crime (per capita) than other regions.

North Korea did NOT “denuclearize”; in fact, it is updating its testing facilities.

And now…we are going to have a new SCOTUS opening. The only way to moderate this is to get a couple of Republican defectors, which will not happen.

And THIS is why: POTUS matters (even if he/she isn’t everything you want). This is why red state Democrats in the Senate matter, even if they are more conservative than you’d like, and even if they don’t support your pet positions.

Workout notes: weights, easy 2 mile walk. Usual PT, pull ups (10-10-10-(5-5)-(5-5)) good, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 155, decline: 7 x 170, military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Usual abs (hate planks), etc.

I remember the old days: cotton shorts and rust stained white t-shirts or sweatshirts. Now: high tech clothes, smart phones and those “shaker” bottles for whatever it is that the young people drink.

I do note that my upper body strength: is roughly what it was in 10’th grade, though I can do more pull ups now. I remember running a 5:58 mile on a dirt track at that age (at 220 lbs!) and there is no way I could do that..or even get to 1200 meters in that amount of time. Some things decay faster than others.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Political umpires and lying

I admit that I am getting frustrated. Yes, there are serious issues facing us, but I’ve managed to get into discussions about public officials getting served in places of business.

The arguments devolve into “hey, these are serious times and we need to FIGHT them with all we have” or “hey, this isn’t like the cake episode because of …”

My perspective: I really don’t feel badly for the government officials; they are wealthy and can always go to a more expensive place. I do wonder if this is helping us in the long run; my guess is that it isn’t. I was hoping that some of the problems with things like visas and tariffs would depress turnout but this sort of running off at the mouth might well fire them up.

This is a massive political gift to the GOP, IMHO.

Oh, again, you can make arguments as to why such actions are morally justified, but there is no referee ruling on the justness of our actions. There are only results at the polls.

And frankly, we are are almost always outgunned there, and not just because the set up of the Senate and House gerrymandering gives conservatives an outrageous amount of over representation.

Think of the competing messages:

1. You are great and would be AHEAD if government wasn’t giving your hard earned tax dollars to lazy moochers and losers.

2. Ok, frankly, you’ll probably end up in the same economic class you started in. So here are some programs that will make your very average life better (stronger Social Security, better funding for Medicaid and Medicare, higher minimum wage (who in the hell wants a minimum wage job?))…

And think of who we stand up for: illegal immigrants, refugees, bottom tier workers, convicted criminals (making sure that convicted felons have the right to vote), drug law violators, single moms, transgenders who want to use the “other” locker rooms, etc. None of these things are political winners, though some might check a box saying “ok, I am ok with that”…these are not issues that the public would go to the mat for.

Our road is a tough one.

Aside note Our immigrant, refugee, asylum seeker debate: remember that we are having a First World caliber debate. This is what happens elsewhere:

From this isolated frontier post deep in the sands of the Sahara, the expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds. They look like specks in the distance, trudging miserably across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain in the blistering sun.

They are the ones who made it out alive.

Here in the desert, Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 people in the past 14 months, including pregnant women and children, stranding them without food or water and forcing them to walk, sometimes at gunpoint, under temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit).

In Niger, where the majority head, the lucky ones limp across a desolate 15-kilometer (9-mile) no man’s land to Assamaka, less a town than a collection of unsteady buildings sinking into drifts of sand. Others, disoriented and dehydrated, wander for days before a U.N. rescue squad can find them. Untold numbers perish along the way; nearly all the more than two dozen survivors interviewed by The Associated Press told of people in their groups who simply could not go on and vanished into the Sahara.

“Women were lying dead, men….. Other people got missing in the desert because they didn’t know the way,” said Janet Kamara, who was pregnant at the time. “Everybody was just on their own.”

Her body still aches from the dead baby she gave birth to during the trek and left behind in the Sahara, buried in a shallow grave in the molten sand. Blood streaked her legs for days afterward, and weeks later, her ankles are still swollen. Now in Arlit, Niger, she is reeling from the time she spent in what she calls “the wilderness,” sleeping in the sand.

Workout notesweights plus a 2 mile walk.

Weights: usual pt, pull ups (good: 2 sets of 15, 2 of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, decline: 6 x 170, military: 1 set of 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, usual abs, plank sucked again (2:30), easy walk.

June 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment